1996 Buick Park Avenue Climate Control Panel

The Climate Control Panel stopped working after a slight beep sound and then a noticeable electrical smell filled the car. The 15 amp fuse in slot 5A was burned out. I replaced it but it burns out immediately when the ignition is turned on, even when the Climate Control Panel is unplugged. I dropped the panel that holds the fuse box and all looks good. I pulled the Climate Control Panel and everything looks good there too. How do I trace this back? Can I just vacate that fuse location and run a new power source from another fuse?

That 15 amp fuse provides power to the compressor clutch relay, which then energizes the compressor clutch and diode.

Try unplugging the compressor electrical connector and see if the fuse blows.

If it doesn’t, there’s a problem with the compressor magnetic winding for the compressor clutch or the diode.


I am assuming you are talking about the AC compressor connector. I will try that tomorrow evening. I really appreciate your reply… Mark

I’ll rummage around for a wiring schematic later this evening and post back as I’m not familiar with the minutae of Buick climate controls.

All depending, maybe the problem is related to the blower motor which has died or is in the process of dying. A dragging blower motor can draw a lot of electrical current and certainly enough to pop a fuse.

Anything you can come up with will be appreciated. Thanks for your time… Mark

I just tried Tester’s suggestion to unplug the compressor electrical connector to see if the fuse blows. It blew.

Try unplugging the blower motor and see if a fuse pops then.

How do I do that? Do I pull a fuse? I will try that tomorrow when I get home. Thanks for the suggestion.

Unplug the connector at the blower motor would be the best way as that would eliminate the blower motor only from the problem.
If the fuse doesn’t pop with the blower unplugged then you’ve found the problem.

Sometimes those blowers, even if they run and sound fine, can draw a lot of electrical current.

A few years ago my wife said one day the blower in our car had quit for a few seconds and came back on with no more problems. When I went to check it the blower ran fine so I used an ammeter to check the current draw on it and found it to be pullng 27 amps on the HIGH setting.
That’s mild arc welder territory… :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, the fuse popped again with the blower motor disconnected. I really appreciate your suggestion. Any other advice? Thanks.

I’m using a Haynes schematic and like Chiltons they can be notoriously skimpy or inaccurate. Tester had mentioned a diode fault and that’s certainly a possibility.
A diode is an electronic widget in the compressor connector that is designed to allow current flow one way and no or little the other direction.

Diode failure is not common but the odd failure could provide a direct route to ground through the compressor connector; meaning a dead short and popped fuse.

A wire shorted to ground?

I may just have to hand it off to an auto electric shop. But I appreciate all the input!

Just one last question, and it may be idiotic but I’ll try: Can I just vacate that fuse location and run a new power source from another fuse?

I would buy an in-line fuse holder (cheap) rather than add on to an existing fuse.

I think the compressor connector with a new diode is dirt cheap. Just replacing it on a hope could be easier and cheaper than testing it or having it tested.